Top Cloud Trends of 2019

For all the hype of blockchain (crypto), we’re still in the early stages of Cloud adoption by global companies and integration with machine learning. While AWS and Microsoft are a duopoly of sorts, it’s a very dynamic ecosystem with both niche players and rising Chinese players.

The Cloud is a much more B2B and business centric technology innovation space that relates to how things like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and edge computing scales. The Cloud is moreover at the forefront of cybersecurity, innovation and technological consolidation that will characterize much of human progress in the 2020s and 2030s.

Gartner Research predicts that by 2025, 80 percent of companies will have opted to shutter their traditional data centers.

Companies that featured the most prominently among the 2017 market segment leaders were Amazon/AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, Dell EMC, HPE and Cisco. However, in 2018 new entrants have emerged. Some trends worth noting in the short history of the cloud are:

The Cloud is still in its Infancy

  • 2015 as the year when cloud became mainstream
  • 2016 as the year when cloud started to dominate many IT market segments
  • 2017 cloud was the new normal
  • 2018 was a year when cloud services growth and penetration really started to scale globally (the bulk of huge deep feature clients are on AWS)

Enterprises are Spending more on Cloud

Cloud spend is on the rise, so much so that the International Data Corporation (IDC) recently upped its 2018 prediction for cloud IT infrastructure spending to $57.2 billion, reflecting a 21.3 percent increase over the previous year.

Just as much of blockchain adoption by 2025 will be done via the Cloud, I wanted to take a look at some of the Cloud trends I find notable as we enter 2019.

Make no mistake, the growth of the secular cloud is the body of the future being born. It’s what allows companies like Amazon to be a future superpower in areas such as Healthcare & BioTech, Banking and Education for decades and not just retail. China investing more in the cloud is one of 2019’s biggest technology stories that likely won’t be told much in the West.

If data is indeed the prime foundational component of any meaningful corporate initiative we are quickly approaching an age of artificial intelligence emergence. Multi-cloud solutions are the primary strategy for large companies, with public cloud use gaining steam. New forms of technological globalization are taking shape. Enterprise cloud spending is on the rise and even with a bearish economic outlook for 2019 and 2020, nothing will slow it down. The evolution of the Cloud is now inextricably tied to human progress.

1. Alibaba Rises as the Third Horseman of the Global Cloud

Forget Google or Salesforce, it’s Alibaba that has a tremendous opportunity to grow as the globally dominant 3rd Cloud company. Alibaba already passed IBM in early 2018.

2. AWS wins the Pentagon JEDI Contract

For me it’s a foregone conclusion that AWS will win the Pentagon contract of $10 Billion and remain even more closely tied with the US government as the epitome of the American innovator. This will mean AWS will be even more profitable and enable Amazon’s growth in the likes of artificial intelligence, healthcare, grocery delivery, advertising, Alexa in the smart home and consumer smart gadgets.

3. Tencent Pivots to Enterprise and the Cloud

With a trying year in 2018 Tencent had to readjust its long-term strategy to enterprise and Cloud services. This will mean Tencent too will grow its potential in the Cloud, as its consumer products such as gaming and E-commerce sector comes under more stringent regulation in China. While its app infrastructure is impressive, expect Tencent to show new Cloud services at the enterprise level to increase profitability.

4. Salesforce and Google Grow in the Cloud at a Fast Rate

Expect Salesforce and Google to grow their cloud and hybrid services at a fast rate, while AWS and Azure remain dominant in their positions. This means the other players will be left behind increasingly such as Oracle, IBM, etc…

5. Cloud Services are Multiplying Exponentially

There’s amble evidence cloud services and solutions such as the subscription SaaS, Iaas, Paas models and others will continue to proliferate as cloud adoption continues to rise.

There are fairly solid numbers to support these trends:

There will be an explosion of new cloud services and solutions, and here are some stats to prove it.

  • Subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) will grow at an 18% CAGR by 2020, according to Bain & Company.
  • Investment in platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will grow from 32% in 2016 to 56% in 2019, making it the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms, according to KPMG.
  • Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) itself in 2018 made a huge leap with IBM and Amazon leading the way.
According to IDC, almost half of IT spending will be cloud-based in 2018, “reaching 60% of all IT infrastructure and 60–70% of all software, services and technology spending by 2020.”

6. Kubernetes Dominance and Open-Source

Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. Industry insiders, like Forrester, have predicted Kubernetes as the winner and now the data proves this out according an article on GitLab. According to the State of the Cloud survey, Kubernetes shows 27 percent current use while Docker Swarm shows only 12 percent adoption.

7. Quantum Computing is a Darkhorse for the Future of the Cloud

It’s very hard to say but it’s likely quantum computing may have a way bigger impact on the evolution of the Cloud than Blockchain. This is because artificial intelligence could scale with quantum computing in unexpected ways. The race to establish quantum supremacy, AI chips and machine learning trained on the most data is on — and it will be a game of cat and moues for at least another decade in many of these respective but related verticals.

8. Microsoft Narrowing the Gap with AWS?

Azure is a success story and Microsoft have diversified their products in a very sustainable way. Many analyst believe Azure is indeed hacking away at the lead AWS has, and it’s for good reason that I call them both the duopoly of the Cloud. Their lead is for the most part insurmountable in the short-term over other contenders.

Azure adoption grew by 89 percent in the second quarter, ending Q2 with an 18 percent share of the market, according to a report by Canalys, an independent analyst firm. Just as I don’t believe Google home devices can catch up to Alexa in any meaningful way, I personally remain skeptical of Azure’s ability to really impact AWS’s dominant position. Time will tell and 2019 might bring us some unexpected data on this.

9. Multi-cloud Adoption to Accelerate

While security is still a primary consideration, in 2019 we can expect Cloud solutions to offer deeper features than ever. With multi-cloud becoming the new normal, players will now have to compete on unique and specific offerings, rather than overall market share. The fine line between competition and collaboration means the winners of the Cloud can now afford to specialize and work together to innovate the sector as a whole to another level of maturity.

Many analysts are saying Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are going and will be the norm in 2019. Hybrid configurations will be more common. Due to needs of enterprise deeper feature offerings and capabilities, having more than just a single cloud vendor for their load migrations will make more sense.

This article will be adding more trends as get closer to 2019.